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Dear Lost Foals,I was directed to your web site from a friend who questioned the loss of my foal and problems in getting her dam back in foal, was related to the WNV vaccine my mare received. Up until 2002 I never vaccinated for WNV and I have decided not to do it this year. I have never has such mare/foal issues like the 2002/2003 breeding/foaling season. I have always followed the normal worming program, 5/7/9 Neumabort and normal combo vaccs. In 40 years of raising babies I have never had any problems. Count me lucky, maybe, but I feel I have the healthiest mares and a quality care/program. Yes sometimes you do everything correctly and there is still a loss. But I do question loosing this foal.
From the advice of my vet (and all the hype regarding WNV) I agreed to vaccinate. My foundation bred AQHA mare received WNV April 2002 and May 2002 as did all my horses. An otherwise perfect, healthy and dead-gorgeous Tobiano Paint filly of my dreams Winnie foaled March 2002 then suddenly and traumatically died May 26, 2002 of what UC Davis called foal pneumonia because they just didnt really know what label to put on it. I had been working with her daily getting her ready for a halter class. There where absolutely no signs of illness until I found her down in the stall with severe head trauma (thrashing and hitting the stall walls) from convulsions. She would have been nursing when Chloe received the WNV vaccines. Then it took three months to get Chloe back in foal. Note: The stallion was not vaccinated for WNV. My vet was stumped as Chloe is normally what I call a drive-by breeder. I swear you can drive by a stud and she becomes pregnant! She has always taken the first time and has no problems at all foaling. She has produced six perfect foals for us.
Hobbs a Tobiano Paint colt was born (May 2003) two weeks early (compared to Chloes other foals) with badly crooked legs and is quite small/stunted looking. When first born I questioned his ability mentally as he seemed really slow but within a week or so that soon changed to Mr. Studly and he is now definitely abnormally studly for his age. His legs are looking much better, almost straight now, but I have never had a foal born with such bad legs and with such a stud attitude. Chloe didnt have the normal birth she has always had. She foaled in the middle of the day (a never for her, always at night) and after foaling she kept having what looked like violent contractions (on her right side only) and was in tremendous pain. Again, never before had she done this. The vet couldnt tell me what was happening so we just made her comfortable and I kept watch on her. She seems to be fine now. After a clear health exam she was bred back for a 2004 Tobiano foal. However after reading your web site I will have her checked again to make sure she is still in foal.
So, is the WNV vaccine to blame? I am interested in knowing about Winnies UCD tests and was the bacteria found in her lungs related at all to the other bacteria found in these dead/mutilated WNV foals. I also question if she could have gotten it via nursing her vaccinated mom. WNV certainly could be the answer as to why we couldnt get Chloe back in foal sooner and loosing Winnie. Is Hobbs stunted due to the vaccine? Way too many questions and no answers. I look forward to following this.
Cheri B. Northern California
Hello, I am a miniature horse breeder. I have a very small herd, currently 2 breeding mares, 2 maiden mares and 1 stallion. I am also a Registered Veterinary Technician, with twenty-three years invested in the profession. From the posted reports this vaccine has severely effected the equine industry for 2003 and 2004. My concern is for the future.
I was lucky, my one pregnant mare age 9yrs, bred in late May 2002, first vaccinated,for WNV, October, 2002, boostered early November, 2002, then re-boostered in early April 2003. Delivered a normal health colt April 20,2003. It took her 70 days to come back into heat. No foal heat, no thirty day heat. I will be ultrasounding soon to see if, she settled. The three other breeders in my area who also vaccinated for WNV, have had difficulty, getting their mares to cycle and settle. One mare whos history is to settle on one heat is on her 5th cycle and has not settled yet. My big concern now, are the stallion, mares and maiden mares now sterile? If, so is the condition temporary or permanent. If, they do reproduce, are the resulting foals genetically effected? I did not vaccinated my 10yr old mare, she delivered a health filly. I did vaccinate my 5yr stallion, 1yr mare and 2yr mare. No adverse effects yet noted.
My trainer's older mare, 18yrs, consistant broodmare. Produced a normal structured filly, with normal Igg, that became septic within 24hrs of delivery, for no apparent cause. The filly has responded to treatment, but is much slower in her developement process. The only change, is the introduction of the WNV vaccine during the gestation of this foal.The Equine Industry we know has been grossly effected for the 2003 and 2004 foal crops. Since this live experiment has been put upon us let make lemonade with the lemons we have been handed.
Collect your data: Mares and Stallion names, ages, breeding history, date first vaccinated, dates boostered, resulting foals, problems and post vaccination fertility data. Submitt this information not only to the USDA, but also to your US Senator, the CDC and George W.Bush. This vaccine, I am sure is the foundation for the Human vaccine in development. Do you or your children want to be vaccinate with this quick fix? The full effects of this experiment have yet to be determined. The manufacture, has recieved calls on this product for nearly a year, and my state professional newsletter is still pumping the use of this product. The effects of the equine industry will affect a large population of the economic sector. We are talking millions of dollars lost, from the postings on this report, what is the long term cost?
And, while we are at it, we need to call for studies on the intervals of vaccines. There has never been a study done to determine how often vaccines need to be given. The profession does not have any data that says, vaccines need to be given every year, or every 10years or just give the inital series. Vaccines are the bread and butter of veterinary medicine. So, unless demanded we will never have information on this subject. Vaccines can cause malignant tumors,requiring radical surgery, this is seen more in companion animal medicine. That is why some veterinary specialities are calling for extended intervals in the the vaccination process. Vaccinations have done alot of good, over the years, but more information is needed to gain the benefits and protect against adverse reprocussion.
Nyla P, RVT
Hello, After reading and viewing the photos, on the lost foals group site, I have to tell you, I have NEVER had a problem getting my mares in foal via shipped semen, or live cover. BUT I vaccinated in March with WNV, one month prior to foaling. The mares delivered healthy foals with no deformities, BUT The mares vaccinated have not had normal Cycles, some come and go in 14 days, others have multiple follicles, some that mature beyond a normal impregnable size and are not fertile. One mare was producing follicles left and right, as one ovulated on the left at about a 4.5 c.m. the right side had a follicle at 3 c.m. 2 of the mares would mature a follicle to a 5 c.m. which they have never gone beyond a 4.2, but would hang on and not Ovulate for 2-3 days even though they were given chorulon to help them to ovulate. As well the mares were cycling and not showing to my stud. Upon ultra sound mares were at a breedable size follicle 3.8 c.m. and yet not showing! These are mares that I know well and have never had a problem before, I have tracked their cycles numerous times and have been 100% successful on my first shipment and first try. I have also been successful in short cycling 2-3 mares together and breeding them off one shipment of Semen. If it were one mare I would think maybe she had a problem of her own, but all 4 mares who were vaccinated are doing the same thing. I have a late mare to foal who was not vaccinated, so it will be interesting to see if she has the same cycle problems? I have shipped semen 4 times and this last cycle seemed to be rather normal in timing and in the size of the follicles at ovulation. The only explanation I have, is that the vaccine is short lived and is wearing off. It is at least 4 months since I vaccinated. I will know in one week when we have the girls ultra sounded. The only thing I changed in My program was the vaccination of WNV!!!!!!!!!!!! The stallion owner who has shipped to me for several years running, also vaccinated with WNV last year and he too had a difficult time getting mares to settle. Some of which remained open. This year he did NOT vaccinate and every mare has been bred and is in foal. A Co-incident???????? I doubt it!!!!!
Sharon K, Ontario Canada
I am an Appaloosa breeder with a small herd. Last year I only had 4 mares bred,and when a horse 1/2 mile down the road died of West Nile virus I had all four mares vaccinated. All 4 were definitely in foal, but none produced a foal. This year two of the mares had trouble sticking, although one had always caught before with only one try. If these mares cannot produce,I will have lost years of raising these mares to produce specific lines and color, with only two fillies to carry on the lines of one mare. I WILL NOT use this vaccine again until they have proven one safe for breeding stock!
Beverly C, Thornton,Tx.
We are small paint breeders in California and only bred 3 mares last year. We did not give the west nile shots to any of our mares, and we have 3 healthy foals. But one Homozygous we payed a lot of money for already in foal to a top stud that came from Iowa already in foal was given the shots by the previous owner. The mare carried to full term but delivered a tobiano palomino colt that was born with deformed front legs. He also was born with Septacemia and lime green eyes and was blind. He was so pitiful he ran the foaling stall banging in to every wall and the feeder beating himself up. He couldnt find his Mother to nurse. We had to put him up to the mare and he still had a time finding it! The vet was able to get him over the Septecemia hump, but being blind and needing very extensive surgery to fix his front legs:We had the colt put down at 24 hours. I have never seen anything like this and neither had our Vet. A friend E Mailed this site to me tonight and I am glad of it. I will not give the WNV shots to anything on my place! Some friends of ours had all her mares vacinated and they had half of their mares come up empty after being checked in foal. They are big time breeders and couldnt understand what was going on. They had never had such a bad year before. I am forwarding this sites web address to everyone I know. Keep up the good work and thank you for all the valuable information.
Melody, Lancaster, Ca.
Last night I had been forwarded this website from many horse people. I was very upset reading about these lost foals, mares, stallions, and geldings... I am sorry for all your losses. I have a story to share as well: This all started last year late in 2002, the WNV had been out for some time and my mare was bred April 15 of that year. All of us at the farm were questioning whether we should vaccinate or not, some of the horses being mares in foal along with mine, I called my vet and got the latest info on the vaccine. They (the vets in the group )all said they have so far had no reaction to the vaccine in any horses. I took this a step further by phoning Fort Dodge and inquired about mares in foal... I spoke with two different people there and they said no reports had been made about reactions to the vaccine. Fort Dodge then (because of my concern) gave me the number to the group that handles the statistics on reports, I phoned them and they said they could not give out the information unless I was a liscensed veterinarian. Well, I phoned back my vet group, and let them know they could only obtain this information. We at the farm were still thinking should we or shouldnt we... a month went by, and we decided we should protect our horses. The vet came out and vaccinated all the horses there (a stallion, many mares in foal, some older horses, some younger) All in all I believe there were (trying to remember how many) approx. 24 horses (of all ages and sexes) vaccinated with WNV in early september, including my pregnant mare. Out of all these horses all seemed to be fine, until 5-7 days later, one mare in particular was I believe 5 years old, having trouble standing, it seemed her rear legs were not functioning normally. It almost appeared as if her spinal cord had damage between her back and where the hip joins. She was having terrible tremors from her hip socket all the way down to her hocks on both sides, the vet was called, and within four hours she had an awefully hard time standing let alone walking into the trailer, so we all heaved her in and they brought her in that day. She was given fluids, and many tests were taken, they simply didnt know what it was. All of us at the farm talked about the WNV vaccine... and we thought it may be the problem, but what do we know? We knew the mare earlier in life had been very sick and hospitalized from a virus, recovered after many months, but never really remained very healthy looking. (couldnt keep weight on her) We knew this vaccine was not really proven (due to the fact in hasnt been in trial testing for more than 10 years), but we felt the need to PROTECT our precious horses. This lovely mare had to be euthanized after her third day at the vets. They convinced us we could not blame the vaccine, it was perhaps her immune system could not handle it. The woman who owned the horse and her three daughters were devastated at their loss. (not to mention many of us there at the farm) So, after their mare was euthanized, three more weeks pass and its time to booster all the horses, including my mare in foal. Again, I thought long and hard on this, and said to myself, perhaps it was only this other mares immune system, and again I want to PROTECT my mare. So we did the booster in early september, on all the horses, including the pregnant mares. My mare and the stallion owners three mares. Out of 4 mares, all had very normal births, and very normal healthy strong foals. All 4 received their 5,7 and 9 prodigy shots, and all received normal vaccinations as well as WNV Vaccination. (none recieved WNV again before foaling in the spring) My mare recieved the WNV Vaccination when her filly was one month old, both are very healthy at this time. Although, after reading this page I will NEVER EVER use a vaccine that has not been trial tested for at least 10 years. My thoughts are with you all....
S.G., WI
WNV vaccine causing sterility in colts. Im a retired Vet tech and know that some vaccines can cause problems when vaccinating pregnant animals. I have not experienced the horror stories breeders have experienced since I do not breed horses. I have three horses and vaccinated my mare and a 4 month old colt last year. My mare was ill a few days later after vaccinating her. She was off her feed and was stiff in her front legs. The colt is now a yearling and appears to have no testicles decending. He looks like he is a bilatteral crypt orchid. Has any one experienced this with vaccinating colts?
Valerie Jump

Lost Foal I lost a filly on April 12, 20003 at birth, she was perfect, I had concerns about giving the West Nile, but I was assured by my vet it was safe, there were no problems, the mare was healthy, the foal looked healthy, perfect, no one can explain, I firmly believe it was the vaccine, maybe it should be given differently to brood mares, I did not breed back, it was too awful to think of going through it again next year, need to know what adverse reaction this vaccine has.
Bev Foster,

Could WNV be the cause??? I am a small breeder, having anywhere from 5-6 mares and foals each year. I had 2 foals born this year with problems after giving vaccine in second half of gestation. One filly was born with entropion of the lower left eyelid, and contracted tendons in the front. The other filly seems to have slight contraction of both front and rear tendons. The first filly is good now, but second one is taking longer to smooth out. I did vaccinate again this year, but it was before breeding time. I am hoping that I have no problems next year when foals arrive. One mare was bred to the same stallion as last year, and last years foal was perfect. One mare got ill the same evening after the vaccine this year, but recovered. Makes you wonder doesn't it?

No Heat We have a mare that has always been very strong in showing her heat as in shaking the walls. This year after she foaled, that of which she could not deliver on her own was delivered. We had a foal heat and this was in April and we are still waiting for her to show heat again. She is teased daily, was ultrasounded which found nothing, even given a shot to bring her into heat and still nothing!! Yes, you guessed it we did vaccinate for West Nile. Never again!!! I sympathize with all the bigger breeders that have lost numerous foals not to mention the abilty to breed thier mares as to no heat. I can't imagine what this is doing to your business. A lot of extra expenses and lost dollars.
Another Victim,


Tipped Vulvas In Young Mares I have two young pregnant mares that I gave the WN vacc. to 40 and 50 days before due dates. Had lost one foal 7 days after giving the shot. Now my mares vulvas tilt way back. Is anybody having same, or simliar problems with tilt vulvas?

Dad and I raise Belgian horses. We were advised to vaccinate for the West Nile last fall. Our vet said they had not heard of any bad reporting but she did recommend that we wait until my stud colt was 6 months old before vaccinating him. I vaccinated my registered mare, dads 2 registered mares, and 2 grade geldings in August. The booster was given in September. This was my mares first foal, he was a very large, healthy foal and it was late enough I did not breed her back. After giving the shots my mare, which never give us any problems and you could always trust her, personality changed. She was what I would say at the bottom of the peaking order. She always walked off from her feed if the other horses came over. She became a horse from hell. When you would get the horses up to work with them she would start kicking higher then your head at the other horses. We did not know what came over this mare. I ended up braking my wrist in several places trying to get out of her way. I even told my dad I was going to get rid of her. She was the best trained horse I have ever had. She was broke to work and ride. Dad had both of his mares bred to a register percheron stud. They were both bred in July for late colts this year. We vaccinate my stud colt when he was 6 months old. The next morning after giving him the shot he was a different baby. He refused to eat, stood around with his head down and acted like he was 100 years old. I called the vet and asked about the shot. She said she had not heard of any bad effects of the shot that it must be something else. He quit running and playing in the field and to this day is not the same. We again this spring vaccinated per our vets advise to get ahead of the mosquito season in March of 2003. Shortly after vaccinating one of dads gelding became ill. He stopped eating, dropped a lot of weight and had a very bad case of diarrhea. I called the vet and they run all kinds of test. All came back negative. Checked him for parasites and found none. We had just wormed all our horses. We even had his teeth floated because of his age thinking that might have been the problem. The vet could not come up with any thing to cause this. I had the vet out again in May because this horse still had diarrhea and now he was swelling in the penis area. They ran more test and could not find any thing. I had to trim this poor horses tail down to nothing to keep him clean. One of dads mare has apparently lost her foal and the other had a pretty little filly foal on fathers day. Her legs were not right. She ran stiff legged. I had a picture of her when I stopped at the vets at the end of the week and asked about her legs. The vet told me it looked from the picture that the tendon in the front legs were too tight and in the back legs to loose. She walked with the ankle touching the ground in the back. Her legs has straighten some but to me she still does not look right. She is also not growing as well as I think she should be. As for the stud colt, we castrated him but he still is not back to normal and the geldings bowel movement are just now firming up but not back to normal. We have not had the problems with our horses like we have had the past year. I don't know if the WNV is to blame but I don't know what else it would be. I will be stopping by the vets office this weekend and asking she give this site a look. We will NOT be vaccinating again. I am hoping my mare is bred back for a foal next spring and praying it will be healthy.
Nancy in Linn Missouri

I used to breed for one or two foals a year but Ive been away from it for several years. I never had any problems before. This time I was going to try AI and my vet is quite good at it so I was convinced there would be no problems. Well we vaccinated this mare and then boostered her the first week of April. I bred her at Easter and she was check in foal with ultrasound at 15 days. The vet came back to check again at 50 days and she was open, to my surprise and great diappointment. I have to wait until next season to rebreed. I have another mare that has been vaccinated for the second straight year that I am using for show and she has shown no signs of heat. I will not vaccinate for WNV next year, instead I'll take my chances!
Kim Chiodo Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

I am not a breeder but bought a proven broodmare to breed to the stud of my choice and hopefully get a show baby. I spent $ 1000.00 dollars getting her in foal. Not allot to some people but allot to me. I vaccinated like everyone else. Three months from my mares due date, I walk out to the barn to a dead foal. I was very very upset. This mare had had 5 healthy foals and was nicknamed fertal mertel due to ability to get pregnant in one try. I am so mad to hear about this. I am glad I finally know now.

I am a chiropractor (both human and equine), and have for many years heard information regarding the negative effects of vaccinations. It is not until recent that the medical community is publishing the results of studies linking various issues such as ADD in children and the mercury component of certain vaccinations. To vaccinate or not is a significant decision that should be well researched. My good friend is a veterinarian who is studying and practicing homeopathy. She states that vaccinosis (sickness associated with vaccinations) is NOT uncommon, and symptoms range from behavioral to serious health issues. Most veterinarians will not acknowledge this fact. There are resources within the homeopathic realm to alleviate the symptoms of vaccinosis, with supposed good results. I would encourage those that have behavioral and health changes post vaccination to research these options for recovery.
Dr. Chris Teicheira

Hi there..Ive never, EVER had a problem with any of my babies. Last year I bred two mares to an outside stud. Neither mare was vac., but as it turns out, the stud was. Both babies had badly contracted tendons. The earlier one has rotational problem in his fetlock, did a periostial strip, see very little improvement, but hopefully, with proper trimming, he will be able to be ridden without pain. The later one came out walking on his toes, severely knock kneed has had to have splints, was found to have 2 small rocks embedded in his week old hoof, got an abcess and is now being treated for all of this. Hes a trooper! Just cant seem to keep the good ones down. Bless his heart, he takes the re-wraps and meds in his little stride. He's now 3 weeks old and probably going to make it. Just seems funny that two different mares had similar problems bred to a stud that got his WNV shots. Makes ya wanna go hmmmmmmmm!

Reading about all these folks loosing their animals is heartbreaking and scary. I am a very small breeder of Quarter Horses. We only vaccinated 5 of our horses. Both of my studs, gelding and three of my mares. We have 15 head and I was feeling bad about now giving the shots to all of them. We just didnt have the money to vaccinate all of them. I NOW SEE THAT THIS WAS ACTUALLY A BLESSING IN DISGUISE. Two of our mares were bred and confirmed in foal. (Both had the shots) One mare has foaled a healthy filly, the other mare is late and doesnt look like she is in foal. she has showed no signs of coming in heat. This mare has always had a healthy colt and always has gotten in foal easily. Even the mare that had the healthy filly, has not came back in heat. Im not sure if my studs are having any fertility problems. The two above mares were going to be the only ones we were going to breed this year. May God bless you all.
D & M Quarter Horses,
Posts 7/20/03

I didnt loose a foal this year, but one of my brood mares gave birth prematurely to a stud colt. Every foal she has had with me has been big and extremely healthy. She was in good health. She was bred late, so due to foal this summer. I gave her a WNV booster 6 weeks before she gave birth. She bagged up 2 weeks early and started dripping milk. Then the night came, I happened to be there. She had no problems during delivery, but I noticed the foal was so small, surely there was a twin. We waited and no other foal was born. The colt is beautiful, very small and took a long time before standing. The Vet took one look at him and said he was about 3-4 weeks early. I am very fortunate to have a healthy colt, although he has a lot of growing to do. He and the mare must stay in the stall for 3 weeks, until his legs are stronger. When he was born he didn't even have all his hair, there were patches where it was barely growing in. I have been wondering what happened that she would deliver so early, then a friend put me upon this web site. Thank God, my baby is alive. Now I do believe that the WNV booster had something to do with this delivery.
Nancy O.

I have a AQHA mare that was bred to a Paint stallion for a 2003 foal. The mare received 3 WNV vaccines during pregnancy, two in the fall (approx. 3 & 4 months gestation) then an additional vaccine the following spring at 10 months gestation. The foal was delivered on time, but was a red bag delivery and considered a dummy foal. 4 days of intensive care and $ 1000 later the foal was fine. The foal was born with her tongue hanging out and continues to hang it part of the time at 2 months of age. The foal also has two strange bumps on her forehead that are clearly part of her skull. These developed after foaling, at about 2 weeks of age. Not sure if they are linked to the vaccine but have to wonder now if the whole scenerio was caused by the WNV vaccine. Also, my daughter's pony became severely ill after receiving the vaccine, taking a week to recover.
Wendy, Kalispell, MT.

Hello my name is Kathy and we raise paints, we gave all our mares, geldings and our stallion their first west Nile shot. Then one week later my gelding went off his feed and had a temp of 104, Then ten days after the shot he had a temp of 107. At first we thought he had a cold. We put him on antibiotics at first, but when his temp went to 107 we put in a catheter so not to turn his neck sore. We gave him potasium pen. every six hours and one shot of genicen in the morn. we did this for 3 weeks. We also had blood work done once a week. The blood work showed Jo Jo had a inner infection. My geldings leggs swelled up like stove pipes, we kept him on slow walks to keep his blood flowin his legs. I had a weeks vaction, then my friends help with his shots. We kept a record of his temp every six hr. also. If his temp was up we gave him bute to help bring it down, but only if it was at 104 or better. Other wise we couldnt tell if the meds were working. This cost over 2,000 dollars and 30 days of some of the worse stress I have ever had. Jo Jo did come out of it and had a long road to being in shape to rope again. I am glad to say he is doing great now. The only thing I did that was not routine was the west nile shot. We did not give the second shot. After this all happened a friend that works at a vet clinic said they told her to give the shot in the back leg muscel because they could abcess. Then my husband brings home a cattle magazine with a west nile update that states not to vacinate your bred mare's. Now why was that not in the Western Horsemen or Horse and Rider it should have been put in all equine magazine's. We didn't see this update untill Jan 03, but I have passed the word and made copys of that articale since then. Our vet called and was told that there wasnt any reports of bad reactions for us. I wont be giving that shot again.
Kathy, Clarkston Wash.

We believe that the WNV vaccine is causing stillbirths when administered 26 to 30 days prior to foaling. Our theory is that the vaccine is killing the fetuses and the mares are not pushing in labor once the foal is dead (one mare died from blood loss after having two vets and one breeder working together that could not get her foal pulled until they used a cattle pull). We know of six of these cases within a 15 mile radius of our home. All were vaccinated a month prior to due date. The vets are NOT acknowledging the possibility. If it is taking ten to fifteen days to cause an abortion in the first trimester when the fetus is small, isn't is possible that it is taking 26 to 35 days in the last trimester to kill the unborn foal (much larger) of some mares?
Name withheld - Iowa.

I live in Ohio, and was reading my monthly publication that I receive called Horsemans Corral In it was an article about WNV written by Vickie Hauff. Just a few interesting facts she had in the article. One was a 22 year old mare had been vaccinated after ultrasound proved her in foal. Guess what??? She turned up open. She found this in a Fort Dodge press release!! She also stated that the F.D. vet declared in his report that it was unrelated to the vaccine HMMM
Also in the article, she found on F.D.s website that they tested 649 various horses in 5 states with a 96.28% rate of horses being free of local or systemic reactions. That sounds great, but realize that means 24 read this again......24..... horses had some problem. This is on the Fort Dodge website folks. While she doesnt state what the problems were, but I don't want 4 percent of my herd having problems. I just thought Id share what I found. Thank you for creating your site. Sandy B.

My 14 yr. old Thoroughbred died giving birth April 14, 2003. I am so devasted I havent been able to talk about it until now. She has had 2 other beautiful foals. She had a total of 3 WNV shots ,the last booster 4 weeks prior to foaling. I didnt see the baby moving but didn't get too concerned as she waxed up and I thought things would be OK. I slept in the barn for 3 days and she just didnt go. Finally at 3:oo AM she went into labor but nothing was coming out. She went into complete distress and I couldnt get her on her feet. I ran to call the Vet, left my husband to take the call back and ran to the barn to find her already dead!!!! The baby didnt come out either and I did check to see if it was in position and it was.I have had a gut feeling without even knowing about your web-site that this was related to WNV shot. No tests were done and we buried her. No State vet was available for 5 days so I gave up. I have been foaling for 20 yrs. If I can help I will. Thanks . from NC
Hi, I am from IA and WN is not real common here. But there were two cases last summer of horses that died from WN in the county I live in. So this spring I decided to pay $ 15 a shot to vaccinate my five horses. One was a pregnant mare and thank god she had a healthy filly. But I gave her two of the shots. Will I get a foal next year? Will it be healthy? What about my other mares that are due next year. One of my other mares has a small ovary, vet checked and found that problem. Did manage to get her in foal. My stallions seem fine but will they contribute to deformities? I wish I would have known about this sooner!!! If I have problems next year I will be knocking on Fort Dodges door!!! The factory is a half an hour from here!!!!! I am currently going to school and the school vets agree we should all vaccinate for west Nile. So I think the vets should take a look at what they are preaching!!! I am not the only one with problems here (1) owner cant get her mares settled (2) her neighbor tried from Jan to May to get hers settled (3) Stallion owners stud suddenly went sterile. Scared to death in IA

These accounts are heartbreaking and maddening. I am not a horse breeder, but a mother and a horse owner. My quarter horse gelding is on 24 hour turnout with a pond, so knowing the WN risk I have vaccinated him against it. I am not a strong advocate of human or animal vaccines. Last year was the first time he had his and seemed fine. This year he got his booster on June 20. 10 days later he was lame in his whole hind end. He seemed to be worse on one side, so I assumed he had a stifle injury of some sort. He was reluctant to move, and seemed somewhat depressed but was eating. I chose not to call the vet as I figured he had injured himself out in the pasture with his pals and thought I would give him a few days. There was no swelling, and no sign of any trauma. He improved steadily on his own and one week later, July 9, he was completely recovered. I was marveling at how well he healed from his injury after being so obviously uncomfortable to even walk a week before. Now I am wondering if it was the vaccine that did it. That would explain why I saw no swelling or obvious signs of injury. And he is an EXTREMELY sound and well-bred horse. He will not be getting any more west nile vaccines. Also, I wanted to suggest that when the breeders collect their data and send it to Fort Dodge, that maybe we can find out who exactly should get the report and send it registered mail, so you know he or she gets it. Then he can't say there weren't any adverse reactions. I will call my vet this week.
SRL, Kentucky

Your informtion on the West Nile Vaccinations is most disturbing. I had two mares who had the West Nile Shot and the Booster Shot. They were in foal at the time of the Booster for sure. Here in Montana we only give the two shots the first year and then a Booster every year after. In 2003 I had my two mare deliver very healthy foals, I must have been real lucky. However, I have not been able to catch them in a heat cycle this summer. I have 8 mares on my property and I can tell you that I have seen none of them showing a heat cycle this summer. I have been watching to do breeding but for sure the ones I want to breed have not had a heat cycle. I am also wondering about my stallion. He was vaccinated with the West Nile Virus also. Could he be sterile now?????
Up Dates 7/21-24/03


I'm a small breeder of Morgan and Morab horses. I too had a mare that aborted at 7 months in Jan. 2003. She was vaccinated twice in 2002 for the WNV. She is a 9 year old Morgan mare that has had a foal before. She is confirmed in foal again this year, but I gave the WNV shot prior to her becoming pregnant. I will NOT give her the WNV shot during her pregnancy...and I have serious doubts about using it for any of my horses in the near future. I had a good friend of mine that had nearly an identical case as mine this year too. We both blame it on the WNV vaccine. Fort Dodge MUST come forward with this information. My heart breaks for all of us that have had this terrible bad luck befall us. I am only glad to know that the information is being communicated - I am not alone!
Sandy G. Schoolcraft, MI

You know the email you posted on your website where Lindsey said it looks like you either have to risk your mare to WN or vaccinate and risk your foal? I have two things to say: A friend of mine had 5 mares vaccinated and they all came down with West Nile and all but one lost their foal anyway. One mare almost died. Her neighbor also had two vaccinated horses that got very sick with west nile - so I dont believe it offers that great of a protection in the first place. Also, when she talks about risking the mare for a healthy foal" honestly, if it is that detrimental to the foal and reproductive system of both mare and stallion, how can she believe it is any safer on the mare herself? :o) If it can cause that kind of reproductive havoc, it cant be that healthy for the horse either - including open mares and geldings. I just thought Id share my thoughts on her comments :o) Even though she changed her tune toward the end, it still seemed like she missed the boat as to what the real concern is.....ei. whether the WN vaccine is bad for horses *period* not just will it interfere with breeding.
Author Unknown

A friend of mine directed me to your site after we had discussed that neither one of our mares was coming back into heat after giving birth this spring. Fortunately both mares delivered healthy foals but as my mare is now missing her consecutive third cycle the lady who has bred her twice already and claims she has never missed a cycle nor had a quiet cycle is wondering too what the heck is going on. After reading the devastating stories on your site my initial reaction is for my heart to break for those who lost foals and then I am angered, first at the drug company, then at my own vet for the constant pushing of the vaccine despite my protests and then at myself for finally giving in when it was against my better judgement. After much research I refused to give my pregnant mare the second shot in the series which may be the saving grace behind the birth of our healthy filly. The initial shot may be the cause for the lack of normal heat cycles. Hind sight is 20 20. I have an acquaintance who is a retired vet whose wife raises QH. I asked him during the heat of the controversy if they were going to vaccinate their herd and he laughed and said emphatically NO. He explained that quite a number of vaccines are what the drug companies call a business builder. And he should know. He was never a practising vet - he worked in the labs for the drug companies! I should have listened to him instead of my practising vet.
JW - Western Canada

I gave the West Nile Shot to 13 horses and 5 mini donkeys in February. They all had both their 1st shot and booster at that time. From March 29 through June 16th I had 6 horse foals and 2 donkey foals all born healthy with no problems and this was everyone I bred for this year. None of my horses had any reactions to the shot. I was not, however, able to get any of my mares back in foal for next year but only tried once or twice with 2 different mares. We also could not settle any mares with my stallion for about 4 months and could never explain it since his sperm count was good and healthy we just attributed it to, he was young. After reading this site it makes me wonder if it could have been the shot. He has since settled two mares.
Double E Ranch in Kentucky

Bred TWHs mare. 15yrs old. Never had a problem in the past. WNV Vaccine shot. First shot: May 10th, 2003 Second shot: June 4th 2003. Mares Due date: July 6th 2003. She foaled on June 9th. 5 days later after the second shot. My mare gave me no signs of labor.. VET SAID WNV Vaccine is SAFE. for preg. mares. At 7:00 am. found mare with the filly 1/2 way out and dead.. the fillies back legs were crossed. NO idea what time mare went into labor. I bet my mare tried to deliver this filly for over 5 hours. Ended up putting our mare down that evening. we did everything we could. she even prolapsed too. plus the placenta would not release. This mare has given us 4 foals. plus a couple in her past. With no problems. Not sure if the foal was a stillborn. upset with myself too. only if I would have known. I still have a second shot to due on other mares. now I really wonder if I need too. THERE ISN'T ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR ME TO DO THE WNV Vaccine. I feel our horses are the guinea pigs. SHE WAS OUR NUMBER ONE BROODMARE.. AND OUR BEST SMOOTH RIDING MARE TOO. We only vaccinated two mares that were due to foal. My second mare: 5yrs old: First shot: 5/12/03 Second Shot: 6/4/03 Due Date: 6/18/03 Foaled on 6/19/03. healthy stud colt.. But he has tight tendons on his front legs. On 7/3/03.. he is holding his back left leg. hurts to walk. (figured he spranged it) 2 days later he had a swelling. and lots of heat. called vet. put him on Pinn. on 7/7/03 still swollen/heat and pain. took him to another vet. had xrays done. he has a bone infection on/in his back left fetlock growth plate. did surgery on 7/8/03. he took alot of dead bone out of the foal. We wont know for sure if our stormy will recover 100%... I was with him the day he started limping.. he wasnt stepped on at all. I think if anyone out there looses a foal. stillborn or not. to have exrays done.
Vanessa in Montana

I would like to share a tip that I believe has been very effective for us. I learned years ago from a Pest Control company that a small pinch of salt in water filled with mosquito larvae killed them instantly. Remembering this last year when the threat was nearing Kansas City and having a weeks old filly in the pasture, I put a salt block in each pond and a pinch of salt everywhere that I knew water could or was standing including water tanks. I am repeating the same practice this year and am once again having terrific results on a Missouri country farm! I have seen 1 mosquito all year and we ARE in the country. Our hearts go out to all of those who have lost their horses to this horrible thing. I hope that this little tip can help.
Sincerely, Kim J., 2nd Chance Ranch & Animal Farm

Hi! I was sent the link to your site. Upon reading it, I light went on in my head. We had a broodmare that had successfully delivered her colt without incident. Going on the advise of my vet to vaccinate against WNV, I vaccinated her, along with her colt and the rest of our herd. We had planned on breeding her back during her foal heat. She NEVER cycled again! Just this year I vaccinated my new 2 year old colt. he broke out in what appeared to be hives, all on the side of the body that he was injected on. When I reported this to the vet, I was told that it was probably just a reaction to the flies. It took about 2 weeks for the bumps to go away. I chalked it up to coincidence now I have to seriously question this! PL

I am a breeder and trainer of 25 years and dont give shots/vaccines when they are new. When WNV started, my boarders panicked. I told them if they wanted to vaccinate, call the vet and we would quarantine their horses away from the brood mares so they could be given their shots. They were all surprised I was not going to vaccine my brood herd and stallions as we live in a designated wetlands area of eastern, PA. Because I didnt vaccinate, none of my boarders did either. We were lucky. SAD NEWS, my girlfriend vaccinated her brood herd (40 horses and minis) in 2002 and to date has a total of 7 foals alive and well on the ground. I have only seen one deformed foal that was aborted, but she told me that about half of the foals were deformed in some manner and the other half were late and stillborn. She boostered in Feb and Mar 2003 and is having problems settling mares with her stallions. She also lost five mares to wobbles and a stallion to colic about a week after her second booster shot. She tells me none of these things are related to WNV and even after visiting your website, she believes her vet that is telling her it is unrelated to WNV shots. Yep, okay. And my buddy vaccinated his brood herd this spring, shots in Feb-Apr. All five of his mares aborted within 5-7 days of getting booster #2. He did not give booster #3. His stallion is still testing dead sperm as of Friday July 18, 2003...He lost an entire breeding season which is devastating to a small breeder. I have a full barn of healthily lively foals, fat broodmares, and strutting stallions. I'm glad it stayed that way. I emailed you with their permission as neither of them has a computer.
Thanks, Dodie, PA
Up-Dated 8/7/03
WNV vaccine put me out of business
Hi, I was a small breeder of Andalusian horses. I have two mares, a mother and a daughter. My older mare got WNV and lost her foal in Oct. 2001. The younger mare was two and was vaccinated at that time. The older mare and younger mare have been vaccinated on my vets recommendation every six months since then. The older mare is now 14 and has not had a foal since WNV. She was pregnant twice and reabsorbed. She had six foals before then like clockwork. The younger mare was bred this year and caught--she is a maiden, only 4 years old. I boosted WNV vaccine in June, when younger mare was 2 months pregnant. She reabsorbed her foal. Now, I ask the state vets, VTH's, private vets, the pharmaceutical companies that keep the vets up, the states that turn a blind eye to the incestuous relationship between the vet and pharmaceutical industry, WHO IS GOING TO REIMBURSE ME FOR THE LOSS OF THESE FOALS, THE STUD FEES, THE A/I FEES, AND THE BOARDING FEES AT THE STUD FARM? These mares carried foals with some of the best blood in Spain. Their loss is not just my loss, it's a loss to the gene pool of the Andalusian horse! It's a crime against humanity and against nature that my mares have been denied their foals. I am sick after reading on this site how many people have lost foals, had deformed, sick, or dead foals, barren mares, and infertile stallions, all because of this greedy, bottom-line worshipping pack of scumbags. And it's the state and federal governments that should be working for US that are deep-sixing this whole thing as if our losses and the losses to our various breed's gene pools are negligible. Meanwhile, I am broke, out of business, and selling my stock. I hope the wonderful fedgov realizes that small businesses are the backbone of this country and that agriculture is still a big component of the economy they are so worried about. They put enough of us out of business, the economy really will be hurting. I know my vet won't be getting his several thousands a year, the feed company won't be getting their pound of flesh, the hay man won't be selling me his ten tons a year, the instructors, trainers and stable hands won't be employed, the vet supply catalog won't be seeling me any more halters, leads, Corona, supplements, coflex, tubs, pails, hayracks, wound care items, fly masks, fly sheets, blankets etc. This really does begin to add up. I don't think we who have been financially crippled by this evil vaccine have realized our potential for ecomomic impact by folding our operations. I have only questions at this point, and lots and lots of bills. God keep us all. He'd better, for it's for sure nobody else gives a flip.
G.A. Jaye Florida

It is hard to begin this as so much has happened over the last two months, it is difficult to remember sequences of events. First of all, we began the 1st shot of the two shot series in April of this year. We have raised our own herd stud, so he can only breed to some of our mares. We usually take around ten outside mares, or as time allows. We did our entire bunch with the west nile 2 shot series. We took our mare who foaled our stud to another stud early spring, after the 1st shot. We waited the prescribed amount of time and had her ultra sounded. She was with foal. The other stud never had west nile vaccination. After giving the last west nile shot, we waited for 5 days and gave the Eastern/Western/flu/tetanus yearly booster. Every one except the stud did OK, and one yearling filly.The filly had a mild case of snots, which progressed over a period of time, but the stud was another story. The next morning, he just didn't act like himself, same in the evening, but the next morning which would be Saturday, when he came from his stall to his feeder, he was really awkward and dizzy acting, he couldn't lower his head to eat, and when I put his feed up where he could reach it, he acted like his mouth was tender, or his teeth never fit together right. I called the vet, and since there is only one on call on weekends, we diagnosed the case over the phone. By the way, when I pressed the site of the East/West injection, he had no response, when I pressed the wnv injection site, he definitely did not like it. The vet sent up via my sister, some tucoprin powder, he wouldn't eat his oats with it in them, so we mixed it with applesauce, and pasted it to him. We did this twice a day until it was gone. After the 1st day, he got better by leaps and bounds. Now the interesting thing is, last year we bred 10 outside mares, and got ten foals, our mares we bred to him had foals. Of the ten mares we took on, there are possibly three with foal, but nothing definite, as the people don't do the ultra sound. They say that if they don't get one in the oven, they'll be back the next spring. But the mares with possibility were not given the wvn vaccination. The only thing I can think of is that they were early enough to still get some active sperm cells, and they settled. Another mare that had settled, absorbed the fetus, but she was vaccinated. Some of the testimonials from stud horse owners have said that they return to fertility and settle mares the next year. We had a vet come up while we were trying to breed a mare, and he grabbed a couple of specimens, one from the stud and put a tube in the mare and retrieved a specimen. Neither one showed the presence of sperm cells, dead or alive. What my question is, obviously, will my horse return to being fertile by the next year?? If anyone has an experience resembling this, Id like to hear their input. Thanks, I hope this site will help some people.
Rick G, Midvale ID. 83645

Bred 34 quarter horse mares. Gave WNV shots October then again in November. All were with foal but two before shots. Nineteen mares carried foals to term. Six of those foals never stood alone to nurse. Two of them had a thick red bag. One of the living foals had badly contracted tendons, his legs were cast and he will be fine. Our main stallion quit breeding. This had been an expensive lesson for us. We lost one young brood mare that just wasted away. We have had few losses before and have raises foals as a family for fifty years.
Marion Q., Q. Quarter Horse Weiser, Idaho 83672

My mare is a 6yr old and she was due in March. She received both WNV shots last August. On March 19th I had to have to vet come out and pull the baby with calf pullers. Its front ankles were at a 90 angle and there wasnt any flex or movement there. The babys head was half out and it looked like the feet were upside down and above the head. It was struck due to the ankles not bending. I almost lost her, too. Its ankles looked a lot like the one pictured, but more of an angle and no movement. My vet thought that even if it had lived it would of been put down.
TLF, Iowa

My mare foaled about 3 weeks early with no indication. The beautiful foal was still born. The foal was a stud colt that was a light chestnut. He would have been a Red Roan had he lived like his daddy. My mare Jazz has had 9 live healthy foals until this year. The loss was devastating for myself and for my poor mare. She watched over the foal and didn't want us to take him away to be buried. Eventually she relented and we buried a beautiful full developed stud colt. My loss was not only emotional but financial as well. My mare Jazz is a World Champion Producer and was in foal to Good To The Max AQHA by Zippos Mr. Goodbar. I had planned to sell the colt as a yearling at the AQHA world sale. I am not vaccinating any of my brood mares this year with the West Nile Vaccine.

I was one of the lucky ones who gave the shot near the end of the pregnancy. My foal was fine, but my mare did not have her foal heat, she has not cycled and I was counting on re-breeding her to the same stallion to try for Best In Get! My other mare not only did not get her cycle, but her vulva opening has become so tiny that my Vet thinks he will need to do surgery to open it so my stallion can breed her next season. She refused him even in cycle and that was after hormone treatment to just get her in cycle. My third mare is at an other breeder and she has been trying to get her into cycle. I called the breeder and she gave the mare the booster in early April it is now July 26 and no cycle! I am just starting to breed and needed to show a profit by 2005 so not having a 2004 foal group will really cause a financial problem. I hope the IRS gets wind of the economic damage and comes up with a relief for all the breeders impacted.

I have a mare that has had 3 healthy foals for me(not vx with the WNV). This year she foaled and her colt had many deformaties, including both front contracted tendons and deformed hind legs. I noticed the mare had clear vaginal drainage, I contacted my vet, she said she should foal within two days and not to be concerned, she foaled 10 to 14 days later. The colt had very bad yellow diarreha, this started under 24 hours old. The colt had to have splints on both front legs. His bandages were changed every other day. His legs got deep sores on them and his joints got infected, there was nothing more for us to do, he had to be put down at 3 weeks old. He still had the bad yellow diarreha. I have another mare that foaled. She has had 1 healthy foal for me (in 02 not vx with WNV). This mare went 2 weeks over due. Her colt had a deformed hind leg and very tight tendons. The foal could not straighten both front legs out. He seem very weak on the fronts, he shaked alot. He was about 1 1/2 months old before he started showing improvements and now he seems to be fine. At 1 week old this colt showed the stud attitude. He would try to mount my mare. He had shown these signs for 2 heat cycles. He is 3 months old now and I have not seen him show these signs again. Both these mares were bred back to the same stud for the 3rd year in a row. My mare that lost her 03 colt was covered 4 days and many times, the mare with the foal was running with the stud for a week. Both mares cycle the same day. She now is acting studdy and showing heat signs towards my other mare when they have there heat cycles. I have owned this mare for 4 years and she has never acted like this until now. I did not check them back to the stallion on there 2nd heat both mares breed on there 1st cycle. Now seeing how they act I believe that both are open this year. Both foals were born in April of 03. My horses recieved their WNV in July of 02, boostered in August of 02 and March of 03. I had another mare that had a healthy foal in April of 02, she was with the stallion for 2 cycles and came up open for 03. She was also a 1st cycle breeder and vaccinated with the WNV. The stallion these mares were bred to has had 7 perfect foals with no problems or deformaties. I believe that all my problems came from the West Nile Vaccination and my horses will not be vaccinated with it again until further research.
T. & K. Northern MN

On March 27th this year I gave wnv shots to all my horses. On May 2nd my saddlebred mare gave birth to a dead colt. She has had 5 previous foals all by the same stallion all with no difficulties or problems. I took the body in for an autopsy and specificly asked for a test on the wnv. She was also given a 5way shot at the same time as the wnv so they were to test for that as well. When I got the report back it said negative to all normal causes but they never tested against the wnv siting that the test is impossible to be conclusive. It did suggest that the cause of death was from an opportunistic bug calledHYDROPHILIA but by the pathologists own admission this particular bug is found in animals that are already dead not living animals. She suggested the mare became infected through her vagina and subsequently the uterus. There was an absence of hydrophilia in the afterbirth . To me this makes no sense and I am beginning to believe that any testing to be done regarding the wnv is one big hush hush cover-up. This is one disease I will not be protecting my horses against in the future as I feel the cure is worse than the disease at this present time.
Kelley from British |Columbia Canada

I live in a small farming community in OHIO. Having been assured that the WNV was safe I vaccinated my Paint mare last year. We bred her to a QH stallion and got her in foal. We vaccinated her again this year 30 days before due date. She foaled a healthy filly but dripped milk for 3 days before delivery. This filly also seems to be a bit temperamental which is nothing at all like her sire and dam. She also has been having diarrhea which cant be explained because she is healthy otherwise. I am leary of weaning her because I am not sure of the cause. Also we have mini mares who this is the first year we vaccinated for WNV. The only mini mare due to have a foal this year lost her filly foal 10 days after having been given the first shot. Showing no signs of impending delivery .Foal was only 2 weeks early and it looked fine. This mare in the past has always bagged up and at least looked like she was going to deliver but this year was completely different. Anyway, not even getting the connection I did give them their booster. As I read all of these other stories I sit and think that man did I ever jump the gun and vaccinate with this new before I knew if it was truely safe. I was like everyone else, they wouldnt market something if it wasnt safe would they. Silly Me !!!! I have bred 3 mares this year( 2 minis, and my paint) Paint was vet checked in foal but minis werent since I used my own stallion. They havent come back in heat but does that mean they are bred or just not cycling again?? Guess I will have them checked. I am waiting on pins and needles wondering what foaling season has in store for me next year. I wont be vaccinating with WNV again!!!! Wish I had seen this site sooner.
Goodluck to everyone and God Bless! Take care, Alicia ,OH

Mare vaccinated with WNV vaccine on 8/31/2002 and 10/28/2002. Filly born 5/20/2003 with severe symptoms similar to wobbler or EPM. Weak back legs, hocks bow out, unable to balance correctly in the rear end. No improvement has been noted since birth although she can move around. This filly is in Texas. I have not been able to transmit the report to the USDA Adverse Event Reporting Center through your website as suggested (it wont go through). Is there even any point in contacting Ft Dodge? They will most certainly deny any responsibility.

TR, Michigan

We are APHA paint breeders in Montana. After reading these articles, things are starting to make sense. Last December or January, we were paying our insurance dues on our APHA homozygous paint stallion. They asked if we had given the WNV vaccine. We answered no due to the fact that we didn't think it was proven yet and didnt trust it, plus, the WNV hadnt gotten into Montana that bad yet and we didn't see the need. We were dropped imediately. Then, after rounds and rounds with other insurance companies trying to get him reinsured, we finally agreed to give him and only him the WNV vaccine. Well, usually we start foaling in January and February and have never had any problems getting our mares rebred in these months. Well, after starting breeding. we had a heck of a time getting any of these mares to settle this year. And people bringing outside mare have had problems getting their mares to settle. Never having these problems before, Im thinking this vaccine is it. We are just now getting our mares all settled, and have since had the stallion tested and he is ok, but maybe the vaccine made his sperm count low for a couple of months in the season. Keep in Mind also, that the insurance company would not cover us if we did not vaccinate for WN.
L.F. Montana

I live in central Oklahoma, and because our vet was so high on the West Nile vaccine, and recommended it highly, we vaccinated our entire broodmare band, which at the time consisted of 11 mares. We also gave the vaccine to our stallion. Of the 11 mares we had vet checked in foal, 5 had foals this year. Up until I visited your website, I thought the last foal we had was a lethal white, but now I'm wondering. He had what I thought would be enough color, but when he still couldn't stand after 3 hours, we called the vet and had him put down. Was this a bad choice? I guess Ill never know now. Maybe he was a lethal white, but maybe it had something to do with the vaccine. Losing the 6 babies over the winter was devastating to us, as we are small breeders. I wondered from the beginning if the WN vaccine had anything to do with it, but when I asked my vet about it, he thought I was nuts. Mind you, I love my vet, and I value his opinion highly, but they cant possibly know everything. I know now that Ill never give another WN vaccine to one of my horses. I think the risk is to high. Im sending a link to your website to every horse breeder and owner that I know. I think the word on this vaccine needs to get out, and the sooner the better. God only knows what we have already unwittingly have done to our horses. My thoughts and prayers are will all of you, and good luck to us all in 2004.
R.M. in Oklahoma
I made an earlier post about losing 6 of 11 foals in my pregnant mares after giving the WN vaccine. I am wondering if anyone has printed out all these posts and sent them to Fort Dodge and the USDA? You know this is only a tiny fraction of the horse owners who vaccinated for the west nile virus, but how many thousands more are there out there that have the same horror stories? We need to spread the news far and wide about this, and make sure more people are aware of this epidemic of tragedies after using the WN vaccine. I have sent your website link to every horse owner and breeder that I know, and will post a link to it on my website as well. Thank you so much for this website, and for letting us know that we're not crazy for suspecting the vaccine, and for being able to share our stories with others. Keep up the good work.
R.M. Oklahoma
I was shocked when I was sent this information. Not for what what you would think, but after months of questioning myself over and over. What did I do wrong or what didnt I do. I lost 2 foals this year and have search for answers everywhere. UCDavis and Auburn Un. and multiable large research clinics. I sent tissue, blood, ect from coast to coast. Everything came back we dont know what happened. Let me mention that these were the only mares given the West Nile shots. I choose not to give them to the mares that were due early. I thought they were to close to due dates. I gave the first shots on Dec. 12 of 2002 and the second on Dec 28, 2002. My older 100% preditiable mare (had her since she was 17 months) slipped a filly on March the 3th, that was 28 days before her due date. This AQHA black with no white hairs mare, in mid-day laid down and had a NON COLORED filly. This mare was breed to a sorrel stud. This mare strips the white off of all of her 4 previous foals. (a bay, chestnut, liver chestnut, dun). The mare had always cleaned up after giving birth and this time she retained the placenta. The vet was called and just stood there wit his mouth open looking at this baby. If you lifted up a hind leg you could see within her abdoman, if you laid her on a blue tarp she was blue and so on. Her eye color was like greenish blue water. This mare was ulta sounded and found to be in a heat cycle and was breed and did not take for the first breeding ever. She is now open. Now 13 days later the other mare that was given the West Nile VACCINE went into labor. Delivering a placenta previa filly with a twin. I almost lost the mare. This mare has been checked back infoal at 30 days. I pray God keeps it safe. Fort Dodge has to have known about these issues for some time now. I feel its corporate america putting the buck before all else. Vengence is mine saeth the Lord.
Cynthia, TN
Hi my name is Cindy and I am a small time APHA & AQHA breeder in Waller Texas. My very first introduction was a nice well bred HEALTHY 3 year old paint mare that was confirmed in foal at 14 days and again at 35 days, I had given the mare her first west nile shot the day she was confirmed at 35 days then 3 weeks later the 2nd shot. I had the mare rechecked around 68 days and she was no longer in foal, I also noticed that the 2 mares(the1 paint mare and a yearling) I had given the west nile shots too had very smelling runny diarrhea at which I told my vet about. I chalked the slipping of the foal to maybe the mare wasnt ready, until a good friend had the same thing happen to 2 of her mares that were vet confirmed in foal and then slipped the foal before 70 days her and I gave our west nile shots at the same time. I then also had a friend whos mare delivered a sweet sweet filly that had a rough start and then ended up being put down because she was dying, after the vet opened her up she was amazed at the large size of the fillies lungs and the very weird patches on her lungs also( looked like tumors), this filly had no chance to live. This one friend also had nothing but trouble with her mares foals have diarrhea from the time the foals hit the ground. I for one will not be giving my broodmares another west nile shot. I wish we had been better informed about giving this shot to our beloved brood mares. For some of us our lost foals were a part of our family and wont be forgotten, nor will Fort Dodge be forgiven.
Cindy, Waller TX
I have at this time a yearling stallion who shows no sign of wanting to breed. I have his half sister who falls down and wobbles when she runs. Our three foal were all vaccinated with Fort Dodge WNV last year as weanlings. I only raised three foals last year as a small breeder. A 66% damage rate is not good. How do I know that when I breed the other filly who shows no signs of a problem, that she will not be sterile. I want more information from Fort Dodge, I want stats regarding this vaccine. Getting these shots was an added financial burden to us, but we chose to give our animals the series of shots to protect them. I went to several Clinics and talked to several vets and the consensus was that all 16 horses who pasture near a creek needed the shots. What do you choose to do to protect them? When will you send someone to test these two yearlings? The vet said even with a blood test you cannot tell if the animal is suffering from WNV. So how do you tell? Magic?
Judy W.
last year we only vaccinated 1 horse and that was my daughters special 2 yr old gleding. my daughter is now 12 and when she was 10 we were given an orphan foal if we could keep him alive. she did all the work with him from the bottle feedings to halter breaking to getting him ready and showing him. we have several head of broodmares and a couple of studs. since he was special and a gelding we decided to vaccinate him first. he was down in the pasture on october 28th, i called the vet as he couldnt get all the way up in the rear end. we had him tested and he was tested possitive for wnv. on november 1st he said goodbye to my daughter and me and went to sleep peacefully with us at his side. my question is if he was the only one out of my bosses and my herds that got the west nile vaccine then why is he the only one that died from it? do i dare vaccinate this year to any of them geldings, studs, foals and mares? or do i take my chances and just fly spray them all the time?
Thanks KLS
I am in Georgia. I report this after reading your disturbing site, and realize the eerie coicidence to an event at our farm. It had been written off as stress, poor nutrition of the mare during pregnancy, and other usual vet explanations, and I would not have thought about it until I saw your site. I adopted a BLM pregnant mare in August of 2002. She was rotund with foal at that time had been on a regiment of great feed at the center and although there was no breeding date, she was obviously in late term. She had been, per their protocal vaccinated for everything including her first WN the week before shipping to the facility for my pick up. As an unusual problem prevented us from getting the mare, I had to wait 30 days to pick up at their next scheduled facility open date, so the mare was in line to get her second WN Booster before I picked her up. The mare arrived home, was bagging up some, but I thought she had more signs the month before when I had seen her at the center. Two days later, less than ten days after his WN Booster, she foaled a spindley stud colt who had problems with his front legs- crooked, over at the knees, turned out pasterns, and his chest was abnormally narrow so that his legs appeared to come out of the same hole, but appeared normal in other respects, was alert. He had some difficulty standing, but was a trooper and managed to stay up and nursed full for 24 hrs, then developed severe scours, and died within 24 hrs despite IV antibiotic treatment and oral fluids fed by tube. The vet attributed it to poor nutrition of the mare, said maybe it was inbreeding from her wild herd, yet I know she had been on free choice alfalfa basically her entire pregnancy in a controlled pen situation. I did not connect any event to the WN until I visited this site, and looked back on her pen card from the facility and realized she had just received WN about 45 days from date of delivery and WN Booster immediately prior to this birth. The descriptions of the leg deformity rang a bell and it may be coincidence, as this was a wild mare bred to a wild stud, but the evidence could not be explained for fact in any other way either. This is from a mare that has the most sound feet and legs of any horse I have ever owned, and one which I have noticed has had eratic heat cycles this year.
You certainly have my permission to ad this to your site, J. D. , Georgia.
Hi everyone, I am sitting here reading all this just shaking my head and knowing how bad you all must feel! My experience with the WNV has been, last year I had my vet give the first shot and I had such a bad feeling about it, I stopped there. But regardless I had 6 mares in foal and 3 of them slipped, reabsorbed. My 3 foals that were born seem fine and healthy altho I didn't like the fact that they were down on their hocks at birth. All are up now, but I have never had that and felt that I had missed something nutrition wise for the mares while they were carrying. After reading all this I don't think so. I am fortunate down on their hocks was all they had! I will take my chances with the mosquitoes! the odds are about the same for lost foals, mares not cycling (I have 2 this year) ect. and its a lot cheaper than vaccinating everyone with something you can't trust and then holding your breath and praying even thru the winter months. At least mosquitoes are not still around to worry you in Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. March. NO MORE WNV FOR ME ! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FORT DODGE, hope you are enjoying the big bucks while us little people struggle thru your grand ideas!!
Deanna K. Ohio
I am a small warm blood breeder in Ct. This year we had 1 mare due to foal who reabsorbed after 24 days, She was boostered for west nile. I thought nothing of it till we tried to breed 2 mares this year .Both had multiple eggs developing on both ovaries on ultra sound. Both were proven brood mares, young and healthy and had not ever shown these cycling patterns, especially at the peek of the season. My vet said that this is all he had seen all season and was loosing his mind! I told him about the idea of a poss. W.N. vaccine connection and this site. He was planning on calling Cornell. For financial reasons, we stopped trying after 2 cycles-the foals would not begin to cover the cost of making them. I spoke to the facility in Fla. who collects and preps semen for many stallions and they said they had been having this same report from people even in Kentucky. They did not revaccinate their broodmare band and had no obvious cycling problems. The owner of the stallion that my mare that aborted was bred to told me most of her mares took 4 to 5 cycles to finally get in foal!!!! She also had 2 malformed foals and several dystocias. A friend who breeds Paints who were not vaccinated got his mares in 1 cycle each! I thought it was our awful New England weather this year! I dont know if the vaccine is the cause but it sure needs further investigating. I have only ever had 1 season in about 15 that we got no one in foal. This is 2 in a row since vaccinating. I wont vaccinate my breeding stock next year. I estimate my total losses at about $ 38,000 to $ 40,000(3 foals, collections, vet, transportation, care costs, stud fee-1 had no LFG)
Bee Mt. Farm
WOW, what an informative website this is! We live in Minnesota and are doing some back yard breeding. Our mares bred in 2001 before the vac came out, gave us great babies last spring. Then last year shortly after we vaccinated with WNV, we found our best mare dead! She was fine in the morning with AM chores and then gone. What had we missed? Was she colicing and we didnt notice? I immediatley called our vet and explained that she was found and had been bleeding from the eyes, nose and mouth. Was this WNV? No they assured us. WNV does not create those symptoms. Earlier that June our family had taken a trip out to SD and 2 families purchased 3 for 1 packages and brought mare and baby home, excited for the foals in the spring. Both our families vaccinated for WNV at about 3 month or less into the pregnancy, as we wanted our mares safe. In December our mare aborted the foal? Our vet came out to assist our mare and I right away I asked could this be from that WNV vac? Oh no, he assured us again, but went on to mention that this was the 3rd mare he had seen in 3 weeks loose a foal HMMMM. Now our relatives mare lost its foal too conicidence? I dont think so. Now this is the kicker to me...My vet was out last night and I immediately brought up this website and all these cases. He was Very quick to respond that this is not true and that people are freaking out trying to blame Fort Dodge. I could not believe it! The evidence is pretty clear to me. Is Fort Dodge paying these guys to keep their mouth shut? We have only bred 1 mare this year, but of course, the vac was already given and before this came out. After seeing the pics on the website, I am highly concerned and we WILL NOT be giving her a booster. And we are also wondering about our other horses. Thank you to Lost Foals, for getting this out and helping us to answer some of our questions. I will definately be making some calls to Fort Dodge.
JM., Minnesota
My story is like that of so many others - I live in Wichita Kansas and we did not vaccinate any of our horses in 2002 and we had 5 healthy foals. However, our vet advised us to vaccinate for 2003 and said it was safe. We vaccinated our in-foal broodmares 2-3 weeks before they were due and we vaccinated our stallion and open mares in April 2003. We have a boarding stable and we breed paint horses also. We had 10 mares to be bred and we are yet to get any of them in-foal. We were beside ourselves thinking that our young stallion (5 yr old) was sterile but why? The mares continued to cyle (abnormally) and he continued to breed them. Our breeding window has long pasted and we are left with no pregnant mares and a stallion that is more than likely sterile. We have been breeding for 10 yrs and we have never experienced anything like this. The only thing that we did different is vaccinate for west nile. Luckily we only gave them 1 shot but evidentially it was enough to cause damage. When we asked our vet if the vaccination had anything to do with this he said "no" and that we were the only people in our county experiencing this problem. I said Bull S whoops I have read the stories and my heart fell - I am outraged! We all belong to Horse Associations such as AQHA & APHA we need to contact them and ask for their help - let's have them send out a survey letter to all their members and have them respond in detail the effects the vaccination has had on their horses. Speak out, let it be known, lets bring Fort Dodge down and make them admit that they have now damaged the horse industry and made alot of money doing it.
Thank you - my story aired last night on KWCH news 12 - I am doing my best to get the word out - tell your visitors to contact their TV stations - they will listen. By the way - when they aired my story the promoted your website - thank you for having it.
Jen W.
Fortunately, I did not lose a foal, but I did want to let others know of what I believe to be yet another possible side effect of the West Nile Vaccine. One gelding came down with some skin bumps, but disappeared after a few Iodine baths. My 25 year old mare, though sensitive to some injections, foundered. She never exhibited any of the usual heat in her legs or feet. She had not been out on pasture for any duration. She is not one to overeat. Nothing else had changed in her routine. She stood, hardly moving, in stall for almost 2 weeks. I came close to putting her down. With the help of some very good pain killers, a good farrier, a great attitude and TLC, she made it through. I mentioned my thoughts to the vet about the possible connection between her founder and the vaccine, but was told they had not heard any adverse reports. The vet just passed it off as one of those things. A usual founder. I decided not to give her any further West Nile shots to her. Fortunately I have not had any problems with my other 3 horses. My mares are not bred, though I have noticed my one mare does not appear to cycle very often. I hope they take these reports seriously and take another look at their safe vaccine. Its the only thing we have against West Nile now. It's a hard decision to make. Which risk is greater?
Linda H, Minnesota

8/8/03 A year ago June when the WN vaccine first became available, our vet came out to do our barn of five horses against it and got there before I did. My 8 year old Anglo-Arab Opie was given his shot first and put back in his stall. When the vet was done with the other four about 10 minutes later, I remembered that I wanted to him look at Opies leg. When we got over to the stall, what I saw was NOT my horse. He was fidgeting and nervous. While commenting on how weird he was acting, we both stood in horror as his body began to cover with dime-sized welts. I grabbed his halter, struggled to get it on him and pulled him outside while the vet went to get steroids. In the interim of about 2 minutes, all welts became one and his airways began to swell shut. He started struggling for air as the vet attempted and finally succeeded in getting the steroids into him. He settled down and the welts all but disappeared by the next day. This is an otherwise extremeIy healthy horse I got as an orphan when he was one week old. He's my partner. I will not attempt WNV again. I used to feel that if I was going to lose him, at least I would have I tried. NOW I couldn't live with myself if I tried the vaccine again knowing his history and murdered him. My heart goes out to all those who have lost four legged loved ones to this. I'm glad I didn't have to join you.
Jan Monasmith Hemet, CA.

8/9/03 I was so happy to be directed to your Website by a horse contact in Michigan. I thought I was going crazy and was ready to pull my hair out. We are a small breeding operation in Ohio and we have 8 broodmares and 3 stallions. We began giving the WNV in 2002; with the first shot in the spring and the booster 3 to 4 weeks later. In 2002 we were having problems getting mares in foal and odd heat cycles; but we chocked it up to the weather and moved on. Now, in 2003 we vaccinated with the WNV on March 21, 2003 and what an error that is turning out to be. We were lucky and did get 5 live beautiful foals without any problems or deformities. We are now in August though and have had problems with all our 2003 foaling mares even showing any kind of a heat cycle at all until mid to late July. NO HEAT CYCLES AT ALL!! We also had three non-pregnant mares who also did not come in heat at all for two months after the shot was given and I have one first time foaling mare who to this date (August 9, 2003) still has not shown any heat cycle at all. Our three stallions seem to be having problems also, with performing their breeding jobs properly. At first we were breeding with our 21 year old stallion and I chocked it up to his old age and blamed him; well, I changed my mind when our 3yr old and 4 yr. old stallions were having the same problems of getting a good enough erection to breed a mare. So, what is going on? I have figured it out; why cant they; or dont they want to for fear of law suits. They need to have a large class action law suit brought against them!! This is lots of heartache and tons of money. The shot will no longer be given at this farm and I will keep you updated next year at breeding time on heat cycles or no heat cycles. I pray every day that our mares will have safe foalings and healthy foals in 2004.
The Rogers Family @ Desperado Ranch Wadsworth, OHIO.

8/12/03 We did not know there were problems with the vaccine until we saw your site. The vets here said it could be given safely anytime even for pregnant mares. We never give vaccines of any kind in early gestation. Spring of 2003 is the first time we gave WNV vaccine to our mares and stallion. We gave it before they were bred in 2003. Two were pregnant already but had not foaled in 2003. We did notice that the cycles were irratic for our mares after being vaccinated. They would not cycle hot enough to even stand for the stallion. We had to give them two shots of hormones to bring them in enough to be bred. So our mares were bred late this year. We vaccinated our overo mare on 3-30-03 and 4-23-03. She foaled a full term foal on 6-1-03.This foal was born with front tendons so tight he had a hard time walking. This mare had foaled two normal overos bred to the same stallion previously. We have never had a foal with tendons like that. This same mare was always well adjusted and did not cause any trouble. Just a run of the mill broodmare. Until this week. (August) She started stud talking the mares and prancing like a stallion for them. Yesterday morning I went out to the pasture and she was mounting a mare that was in heat. The mare she was mounting was an unbred riding mare. Well, the mare that was doing the mounting was sweaty from head to toe. She just kept mounting the mare over and over and obviously had been doing that for quite a while. She kept trying to mount as I was leading the mare in heat out of the pasture. When I got out the gate the mare just yelled and screamed for her and ran down the fence line after her. We have had to take the studdy mare out of the herd and keep her alone. I have the feeling that the hormone levels are really out of wack on this mare from the WNV vaccine! I do not know if the mare is in foal. Her studdy actions make it look pretty doubtful. Wonder how long she will be acting this way. Probably until the WNV vaccine wears off months from now. Our other mare that had been vaccinated on 3-23-03 and 4-13-03 foaled a normal foal on 4-24-03, but she did retain the placenta. It is time that Fort Dodge lets horse owners know that there are problems with their vaccine.
LH, Michigan.

8/14/03 We have a small breeding program here with horse we have 2 that we breed/ride and 2 we use just for riding.I was hearing about the big panic about WN(2002), I figured I was too far North in Michigan for it to affect me. So needless to say I was lucky and didn't vaccinate my 2 mares and so therefore they had 2 healthy foals.I had started riding our 21yr TB mare in practicing endurance riding. If anyone has done this it is a work out! Me and Robin loved it and she was getting in shape! When we got Robin 1yr ago last year 2002 she was thin her eyes would run to her nose, so she was in ill health at that point. But here we are this year 2003 this Spring and she looks like she is 7yrs old. Well wanting to do the best for this mare I made a decision to vaccinate for WN. BIG NO NO Now about a month or 2 later she is dropping weight with her bones showing more, even her eyes are running again! I am so thankful I didn't do my breeding mares, but I feel so bad as I try to do the best for my horses and Robin was doing so well. I hope she will come out of this as I was leery about the shot to begin with and didn't give the 2nd shot *thank goodness*. I included a pic from this Spring about May and then 1 from August (same year) notice how thin she is. She is on about 15acres of good green pasture and 6cups of a pellet grain mix w/ selenium, biotin, yeast, corn, cherry oil. etc...I guess what Im trying to say is she is fed well and should not be losing weight! I also bought a horse from New Hampshire, she too is thin like Robin plus had the shot and is only 5yrs old. This maybe why I cant get weight on her either...?
Deanna K. Michigan.

8/15/03 Dear Sirs: I have been reading with interest the various reports about lost foals after the mare was vaccinated with the West Nile vaccine. As a practicing veterinarian, I know that there are many causes for aborted, deformed, or still born foals. However, my own mare delivered a still born, full term foal one month after receiving a West Nile vaccine booster. The mare was 20 years old. It was her 5th foal. The foal appeared normal. I was not present when the mare delivered, but she appeared to not have had any problems with delivery. She had never lost a foal before. I did not perform an autopsy on the foal. I chalked it up to a difficult delivery. Now I wonder. How sad to think that I may have caused the death of my long awaited palomino colt by giving a vaccination.
(Name Removed) DVM, Texas

8/16/03 Last year our vet felt that the WN vaccine was just to iffy to use. He did not vaccinate any of his broodmares or his stallion, and we chose not to vaccinate any of our horses either. As the threat of the virus grew, we did vaccinate our horses this spring including our one broodmare. She was due to foal on May 16. We gave the first WN shot on April 9th., and the booster on May 6th. At that time our vet assured me that the mare had at least 10 days to 2 weeks to go before foaling. I was concerned because I was going to be out of town over the weekend and my husband would be home with the mare. On May 10th, a Saturday, everything seemed to be fine with the mare. She showed no signs of foaling and was quiet and had not changed from the previous day. My husband was working out in the barn until 8:15pm. and he went in the stall and checked the mare before he came in. He went back out to water and check the horses at 10pm. and the mare had foaled. The babies head was clear of the sac so he got towels and went in to dry her off and make sure she was ok. At first he did not notice anything was wrong but then saw fluid running out of the fillies nostrils. She started to weaken and within the hour was dead. He tried everything to save her. The filly was good sized and perfectly formed, and the mare was ok, but it took her until the next morning to clean. We both were so upset at losing our only foal that we didn't think it could be from the vaccine.. we just felt it was bad luck and that something must have been wrong with the baby. We did not do a post on the filly, and little did we know we would be reading all of the information and similar stories on this site. We blamed ourselves.. I felt guilty because I was not home, and my husband felt guilty because he was not out in the barn at the right time. But the mare showed no signs of being in labor or even remotely close to foaling that evening. The year before she had a textbook foaling and a healthy filly, and was an excellent mother. The WN booster had been given to the mare only 4 days prior to her foaling. To make matters worse, the mare is not bred back. She was bred but did not conceive, re-bred and failed again to conceive. The real irony is that we are now required by our insurance company to give the WN vaccine! How sad that what we thought was bad luck, was really a bad choice.
J.R. Indiana

8/16/03 Hello my name is Kim. I am so sorry and upset by all, of the articles. I do not have a lost foal story, but I do have a WNV story. I bought I beautiful 9yo QH Mare. On Thursday July 24th, 2003 I had her Vet Check & 1st WNV vaccine. I was told I had a beautiful healthy mare. On Monday July 28th, 2003 I had a mare unable to stand without losing her balance, sweating, terrified of every noise. I called the vet and he was right out. He drew blood samples and gave her steroid injections. She injured her right eye and was given antibiotics & buta-paste. I was concerned that it was a reaction to the WNV, I was told it probably was not that too many days had passed by. 5:45pm my mare dropped. She was on her back with her legs in the air. I ran called the Vet. She remained this was for 30 minutes. She appeared DEAD, but I knew she was not I could she her breathing, and she was looking at me. We got her to her feet. The Vet showed up and gave her more steroids. Still feeling it was not the WNV vaccine. She never fell again, but remained unstable for 1 week. My case has been reported to Fort Dodge, in fact they paid for the last LABS. But everyone stills believes it is unrelated. I DO NOT. She is due now for her 2nd dosage. I WILL NOT be given it. I never what to have to go through that fear & Trauma again, & I hope no one else has to experience it either. I feel for everyone.
Thank You Kim & Sobriety (My Mare).

8/17/03 i am a small breeder in Central OK. I vaccinated last year the first time for WN. I had one mare that had been confirmed in foal at the time i vaccinated i gave the first shot and then 3 weeks late gave the booster,, much to my dismay after 2 months i went out one day and found that my mare had aborted her foal which was at about 41/2 months.... the foal was perfectly normal, and would have been a beautiful paint,. this mare has had no breeding problems in the past and has raised me 4 other healthy babies, i truely belive that there is a corralation between all the lost foals and the West Nile vaccine, i believe that it will be better after the horses have a chance to build up their ammiunties with the vaccine. as so far this year i have had no problems, and i vaccinated again this year,. but i did vaccinate before breeding any mares this year.... maybe that will make the difference, i believe more studies need to be done on this problem. name withheld

8/18/03 I have been reading this site and am shocked and scared, not only for myself, but for the future of our horse industry. I vaccinated my 4 mares and young stallion in march and boostered in april of 2003. My mares are not in foal, as I am waiting to breed them to my stallion next year, when he is three. I had no adverse reactions then, but did have a strange episode this month, in august, with my riding mare. I found her one evening completely tied up- every muscle in her body distended. It was extremely difficult for her to walk, you could tell she was in a lot of pain. She was standing on her toes like founder. anywhere you touched her muscles, she would flinch and drop, very painful. The vet said it was founder, and I treated her for that for two days. On the third day, after really going over her, I decided it really Wasnt in her feet- more her muscles. Hauled her to the vet, and he now diagnosed salt deficiency. Said she was cramping up from the heat and not enough salt. He told me she needed loose salt in addition to the block salt she has always had in front of her. I had never heard that before, but was willing to try anything, sounded like an easy fix to me! He gave her a shot of selenium also. She did better for several days, then seemed to tighten up again, though not as severe as the first time. I took her to a different vet, and he took blood, and thought it might be a muscle metabolism problem. When the blood work came back, it was completely normal. The vet was clueless, said keep an eye on her and hope for the best. She seems to be better now, hopefully will stay that way. The vet did ask me about her cycle, where she was at, did she show signs? (maybe he suspected something!) She naturally doesnt show heat without the stallion around, so I dont know where she is in her cycle. 4 months post vacc, could this be related? The only reason I wonder is the wnv is the only thing new, plus the vets were stumped about what was going on with her. After reading this site, there seems to be alot of weird things going on this year.Anyone else seen anything like what my mare went through?
As I am pouring money into my stallion for training for the reining futurities, I am wondering about the future- what are the long term affects? I will NOT vaccinate again, but what about the mares coming in that are vaccinated that I cant get settled? We have to do something NOW, before its too late for everyone!
JoAnne R. No California

8/19/03 We are in the state of Washington and my Dad raises paint horses, one of his mares had a foal that looked like it was premature and his ears were curled in and he was very weak. We have mares that he could not get settled by the stud he had never had problems before getting them bred or some showed they were pregnant and then absorbed the colt. I have a gelding that all of a sudden went lame in the back end like he was stifled with not apparent injury and was this way for about a month, I am back to riding him again but all of these horses were injected with the west nile vaccine.
Jean - Washington state

8/21/03 Hello to the Lost Foals Group. Let me begin by thanking you for all of your hard work. I lost 2 foals this this year. I had never lost a foal before in over 10 years of breeding Tennessee Walking Horses.
My first loss occurred in January when a mare who had previously delivered a live foal without problems, miscarried her palomino filly 6 weeks early and 3 days after all of my horses had received the first of their West Nile vaccines. The autopsy at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine could not find any abnormalities in the foal. When my vet reported this death to Fort Dodge, she was told that there had been no reported deaths from foals of vaccinated mares. I found this hard to believe, because pregnant mares lose foals all of the time, and many of them would have been vaccinated back east.
My second mare, a large exceptionally strong mare, had had three large foals before without problems, and the stallion she was bred to for this year's foal had been the sire of two of her prior foals.. Before she had always foaled 10 days to two weeks before her scheduled due date, but this time she delivered a champagne filly 10 days after her due date. The large filly died shortly after birth, and this time the UC Davis report showed she died of a ruptured liver, the rupture probably occurring during the birthing process. Her copper levels were slightly elevated, but nothing the vets felt was significant.
My third mare delivered her first foal, a healthy colt, shortly thereafter.
Thanks! Fran Cole, Grass Valley, CA 95949

8/23/03 Hello- I have a few questions for some of the breeders out there. Have the broodmares that have been vaccinated against WNV in 2002 and have NOT had the shot in 2003 are the mare heat cycles normal? also are the mares coming in foal?
I have a small case to report...I was very leary of the WNV vaccine in 2002 so I decide not to vaccinate. My mare was then bred and had a beautiful little colt. this was on her first try and very early in the season. Well this year after the foal was born we vaccinated her and then tried to get her bred. We had very erractic heat cycles, we used almost every type of hormone drug out there to get her to cycle and nothing worked. Finally in Aug 12, 2003 she was in foal on her 17 day but the vet was concerned about the shape of the embryo. It looked like an hour glass, we thought that it was twins the were together however 5 days later it was absorbed.
Now I am worried about some after effects of this vaccine. This mare is an easy easy breeder she has had many foals and caught always on the first try even with A.I. I hope it doesnt effect next year??
sarah in MI

8/25/03 Just finished going through The Lost Foals web site. (I heard about it in a magazine.) WNV vaccine also affected our herd. Not all of our horses have received the vaccine, others have. I will take my chances and NOT use the vaccine on any of them again. Of those that did receive the vaccine - this is our experience. We raise Arabians. One mare received the vaccine about a two months after she had foaled. Once she received the vaccine the foal at her side nursed less and started eating less and acting dumpy. Immediately after the mare received the second shot, the foal stopped nursing completely and refusing all feed. Up until that first shot, the foal was a healthy normal foal, full of life, eating solid foods and nursing well. Working with the vet we tried to save the foal, but she died within a few days. The vet wanted to blame it on SCID (which some Arabians produce SCID foals) However The Sire is SCID Clear and can not sire an SCID foal! Then he said it was probably an infection of some kind. Really he didn't know what was wrong with her. Another mare was still in foal when she received the shots, so was very concerned about her foaling, and although the foal seems healthy, she was born small and very very thin, she seems to be growing and filling out much slower then she should. I am continuely wondering if it will affect the foal in some way later in life. The mare has not cycled normal and we have been unable to get her in foal. Another mare that received the vaccine was open at the time, she had always been real easy to tell when she was in heat, however this year she has showed no signs of heat at all. After this we decide to go without giving it to any of our other horses and take our chances. One of these horses also a broodmare, we did not give the vaccine to, foaled a very healthy foal, not small or thin like the mare that had been vaccinated. This foal is much bigger and is filled out like it should be. Both foals were born only a few days apart. It scares me that maybe WNV will affect one or more of our horses, even though we take all the precautions that we can to prevent it happening, we know our neighbors do not and it could happen through the nieghbors carelessness (such as dirty standing water in containers etc.) I am hopeful that our drier climate, heathy horses and our precautions, get us through another mosquito season without West Nile. Better that then the Vaccine.
Concerned in New Mexico

8/26/03 We are small breeders from ND and have been hearing more and more on this subject of the wnv shot nightmare. We had to really pull strings to come up with the money to even vaccinate our herd, but felt it was better than taking the chances with loosing them to west nile virus. Last fall we purchased 2 quarter stallions and we presently have one paint stallion. Now I'm questioning are they all sterile? As I was reading these entries I was thinking to myself that I hadnt seen 2 of our mares come into heat this spring and the 2 stallions were not very studdy yet this year either. As I sent out the web address to everyone I knew who had horses to check this out, I started to hear more and more stories of the same heartaches as I had read on your site. Most of the other breeders, and they were much larger than we are, thought it was just a tough year. After they saw your site, we all were looking at the fact this is not in a locale but nation wide. All the same events and side effects . Then they realize this is no coincidence. A few of us approched our local veteranarian, and recieved the same answers. They simply stated that they have not heard ANY bad reports on the shots, and that they could only go by what the university has to say. I've heard this from several different people that the vets are taking only the information from their state university. So it looks to me that we all need to submit this info to our state universities and make sure they know about this site. Then maybe our vets wont be able to say they've not heard any negative reports on the vaccines. I guess I dont understand that if I'm reporting negative reations and heath problems to my vet, doesnt that count? Then shouldnt he be able to say he HAS heard something negative about the shot? Maybe I don't count alone, so make sure you tell your vets about this weather they want to hear it or not. Tell them the story you told here. And anyone else in your area needs to do the same. Eventually they will have heard so much, they will have to look at the possiblity that there is really a problem here. Now we will be waiting and praying for next year, and we wont be budgeting for the wnv shots I assure you! God bless and good luck to you all.

8/26/03 I would like to report my 3.5 year stallion was at the trainers last winter (2002-03) for 3 months. Two weeks after his arrival he was given the WNV. He was sick for the rest of the stay. He would run out of breath, quit on the trainer, and developed rings around his hoofs. His last shot was, I believe, in December. When I checked his semen late February, half of his sperm had no tails. Luckily by March all was well and he had no problem settling his mares. My grief is we put lots of money into training and our stallion had to feel the misery of being ill.
San Luis, CA

8/27/03 I am so glad they have this site. Last week I had a proven mare abort her foal a 8 months of pregnancy. She was given the west Nile shot 3 months ago. the fetus did not look normal and had a funny developed head. This baby was worth lots of money and my last chance for a foal out of the stallion she was bred to. I contacted my local vet the day this happened because the mare had retained her placenta. I asked him if this were maybe caused by the vaccine that he recommended I give all my horses. He stated that there is no proof that this shot causes these problems. I believe your website is proof enough for me. I have another very expensive mare that is bred that I am praying has no complications. I have been raising and breeding for over 15 years and never seen something like this before.
Kathy, Valley Springs, Ca.

8/28/03 I own a beautiful flaxen gold champagne walker, Dixie. She is about 20 years old, and the absolute love of my life. I have had her for 11 years and my ultimate dream was to breed her, but could not bare to be seperated from her while she was at a breeder, so I never thought I would find a stud in our area. So I thought that my dream would never come true. But then April of this year I found a beautiful sorell and white spotted walker stud that was not even 10 minutes from my home....I was so very excited I cried thinking of the possibility of getting my dream-a little Dixie pitter pattering around the pasture with the equine love of my life. So in May Dixie went to the stud, accepted him immediately (for 2 days). Sixteen days later we did an ultrasound...Yes, she had taken....oops might be recommended a second ultrasound in a week or so to check the possibility of twins and to pinch one off one if needed. Yes, definitely, there was no evidence of twins. I was emotional beyond belief, I cried as I watched the US moniter screen and again when the doc handed me my very first pic (though just a blob) of my dream baby. Dixie came up do for shots and I put them off until she was about 40 to 45 days into her pregnancy. I gave her first her 5 way waited a week or so then gave her the WNV vaccine. About 3 days after receiving her WN vaccine I noticed a reddish color to her blonde tail, we had gotten new shavings in and they were a little dusty so I thought that her tail had gotten a little damp and then the dust from the shavings had gotten on her tail (the shavings tended to change to a orangish red color when wet). I have just had Dixie ultrasounded again, there is no baby. I am devistated, she would be about 120 days along I have been crying for a week. This baby was not for re-sale, but for me so I would always have a part of my Dixie with me. Now I don't think I can go through it again so I don't think I will be re-breeding my girl, I will just cherish the time I have with her while she is here, and adopt a PMU baby. Also she has not come back into heat and has shown a little more aggression towards the other horses than normal for her (she is the boss mare, but never as aggressive as she has been). I pray for all the little ones and their mammas! Rest in peace my little Dixie Dreamer, though I never met you I deeply loved you!!
Angie, Virginia

8/28/03 I was reading the postings with mixed feelings gratitude that I didnt apparently suffer any bad effects from the WNV vaccine and deep sympathy for those who did. Then I saw a posting about a foal with lumps that developed after the dam was vaccinated. Well, I have a filly who developed lumps on her neck, midway between her head and shoulders, about the size of a nerf football. Her dam was vaccinated when the filly was 2 days old, and I think the lumps, which appeared a week later, were a reaction to the vaccine. I had pretty much decided it was pigeon fever, although the lumps were very hard and left deformities in the neck muscle when they went away. When my other horses had pigeon fever, the lumps were in dependent areas, they opened and drained and cleared up without any scar or deformity. Im adding my story to the postings because the more who do, the likelier Fort Dodge will be to listen. I even heard an advertisement for their WNV vaccine and how safe it is on the radio today. Right!
Jeri Adler, Calif.

8/30/03 Dear Lost Foals,
I just found your site and sit here in tears at all the tragic stories. I lost a foal last year and had the mother go blind within 2 weeks of the WNvax. The colt was a big healthy 3 month old out of a beautiful healthy 5 year old APHA medicine hat mare. Neither had been given the WN vax, but there were cases of horses dropping in neighboring SW Wisconsin counties around me, so I too fell into the scare and trap of the WN vaccine. After being assured by a reputable vet that it was safe for babies AND nursing mothers they were both given the WN vax.
My baby was 3 months & 1 day old when he got the vaccine. 2 days later he dropped dead, just like that! There was absolutely nothing wrong with him before! I was there during the birthing and daily handling and playful games. He was like a child lost. I cant tell you the pain to this day that lives in my heart. And as I said, within 2 weeks my mare the mother to this foal went aggressively blind! This was my dream horse, my sanity, not only my best friend but a part of my family, she was a sister to me, a mother (my Indian heritage leads my beliefs strongly in feeling that the horse is a great spirit that watches over us) and yes even my lover ( I say this due to the passion we carry for our horses, and those who have this blessing in their hearts will perfectly understand this without being perverse). I was ridiculed for keeping her and taking care of her in her blind state, but I am still able to ride this horse bareback, no bit and never will one touch her mouth. Also within 2 weeks after the babies death it was then said one shouldnt give the WNvax to foals less than 6 months of age.
I pray daily for my mares sight to miraculously come back, I morn daily for the loss of our baby. The guilt I feel for feeling such hesitancy yet trusting in such a new untested drug digs in my gut daily. I have since moved to the Northwest where the WN Virus has not yet reached. But rest assuredly it will and when it does I will NOT be giving it to ANY of my horses. What did the world expect? Wasn't it a bit odd how there was no vaccine made for us humans but one popped out overnight for our horses, our friends members of our family Ft. Dodges Guinea Pigs. For your sake, sanity and the assurance of your horse, please make yourself heard! And dont let anything else like this happen to you again. Dont let the wool be pulled over your eyes! Your horses life depends on it and someday possibly your own. And remember, we do not own our horses, we are merely blessed in borrowing their spirit for a brief time.
Natalie from Oregon

9/5/03 My dear friend Cyndy in Virginia, just called me regarding her finding of this website. You see, I GAVE Cyndy a lovely Thorobred mare by Smile, winner of well over $ 1.3 million. Inciteful lost her foal this year, and until now, I really didnt know why. NOW I know. YES, I gave her a WNV vaccine, as any good breeder would give the best available care to his or her foals and stock. The foal would have been worth only about $ 15 or $ 20 thousand, but it has bothered me more than mere money is concerned. The mare has been having all kinds of trouble since then in keeping her weight up, and has not cycled normally STILL! Thinking on, I now realize that my other TB mare lost her foal at approximately 6 months, out of the blue, in a field, about a week or so after receiving a WNV vaccine. Those were my only two TB mares that were bred that year. My Lipizzan mare, unvaccinated, delivered a normal and thoroughly gorgeous colt shortly thereafter. Normally, I am cautious with my Lipizzans receiving vaccines and other biologicals, as well as tranquiizers and other similar medications, as Lipizzans tend to have a bit of sensitivity towards certain meds. So, I have NOT given my Lipizzans WNV. Due to an overzealous barn owner, who took it upon herself (and has several lawsuits against her already) to give MY horses shots from a vet that isn't even mine, two of my Lips had WNV. I am hopeful that they will not develop problems. I will repost when I receive more information, but I am grateful to you all for bringing this mater into the forefront. By the way, as an aside, Fort Dodges strangles intranasal vaccine gave my entire farm strangles several years ago. Fort Dodge even PAIID for the testing on the farm! Feel free to email me should you wish to hear more!
Janice Wolfe NJ

9/7/03 I have been a true supporter of the prescribed WNV vac program. I want to keep my horses as safe as I can (as we all do!), but I see a lot of similarities in the stories that are truely heartbreaking. I have been one of the lucky ones so far and have only suffered mild, can not put your finger on it stuff. I had 5 mares bred in 2002 and checked in foal for Jan, Feb, March and April 2003 foals. They had all been vaccinated with the initial and the booster at around the third, fourth and fifth month of pregnancy, depending on their LBD. No problems, all remained in foal. The mare due in Jan went almost a month early but the filly was fine, a little small to start with but she has grown off real nice. She was given her vacs (inc wnv) the middle of Jan and rebred w/o problem the middle of Feb just the way her cycle went-too early to breed on foal heat and we missed her 30 day. She was turned out on pasture and was not boostered as she was not cooperative about being caught maybe lucky for all of us-the day I had the shots out. Since then she has been wormed and had all the rest but missed her wnv shot.
I gave the next 2 mares their pre foaling vaccinations-including WNV about 30 days before their due dates. Both foaled 3 weeks early, about 6-7 days after their shots. Here I was very lucky. Both babies were born strong and healthy, although a little thinner than normal. Both these mares rebred and caught on foal heat, but the second one held on to her folical for 20 days!
The last 2 mares to foal also came early and did not get their vacs before foaling and also did good. One mare caught on foal heat, the other never did. They were given their vacs at about 10 days post foaling. As of June all 4 were still in foal but I dont think I will be giving them their fall wnv vac as the state recommends.
The other thing I noticed is the site reaction that was described by several others on this site. We vaccinated 3 weeks ago all the weanings and yearlings in the barn, as well as the old stud and our retired show mare (that did not catch this year either for her maiden). 2 have the bumps on the side of their necks, chest, shoulder that they were vaccinated on. I noticed it about 10 days out. I thought it was due to a roll in an ant bed, but the timing would be right. One of them-a yrlg filly-has also not been herself. Not really sick, just sluggish. I am not 100% sure if this is due to the shots or not, but this and what I have read here is enough to make me back off giving it to my horses. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost your animals.
Thanks, Judy Fla.

9/10/03 I was amazed after finding this web site. We too had heard that there may be problems with the West Nile shots but only as to causing abortions or mares not settling. We never dreamt that there were deformities along with it. I am so sorry for all the breeders that have had to go through that horror. We vaccinated last year, just over 30 days before breeding our mare-shipped semen and AI so was not cheap. She was empty this year and has never not settled the first time. This year, as many of you did, we vaccinated again and then tried to breed two mares. As far as we know, both are empty after two tries of AIing. Got too late in the year to keep trying (with over $ 1200 in vet bills alone) and much as we wanted babies from this stud, I think I am glad they are emtpy. We will not vaccinate next year and just hope they are breedable. Let me add that each mare has always settled the first time bred in the past- (raised both of them), whether it was live cover or AI. These are both healthy mares that have always had good care and good feed and absolutely no health problems.
Im going to be talking to my vet and see if she has seen this web site. It might just change her opinion of the safety of the vaccine. There is just too much of a pattern to ignore in my opinion.

9/12/03 I am actually sick to my stomach, as I read the posts from people who have lost their beloved horses. Our beautiful Overo Paint gelding, 17 years old and in perfect health, had severe colic one week after being vaccinated with WNV. He spent a week at the Vet and barely survived. $ 1500.00 later, we brought him home and he was never the same. His personality, which had been calm and sweet, changed totally. He went off in the pastures by himself, would not stay with the herd and became aggressive. He lost hundreds of pounds, became very poor and I could not put any weight on him. My horses are treated like members of the family. They get the best care available, but our paint continued to go down hill. His gait became strange, and I just could not believe that colic would cause such a change in him. I found him dead in our back pasture in August, early one morning. I never connected WNV shots until I read these posts. I checked the dates of his shots and the colic and they are just a week apart. We are devastated at the loss of him. I'll never give the shots again, I will just take my chances.
S. Neely, Stephenville, Texas

9/13/03 Hi, I just happened across your website, thanks to a link from a Draft Horse supply site. I am a veterinarian (small animal) and a horse owner. Just gave my two new horses their second WNV vacc. (the booster) and now I wish I had seen your site or I never would have given either vacc. I knew that the vaccine was rather hurried through the process to get it approved and on the market, but I understood that it supposedly was quite safe and effective. We have been misled and I for one am going to spread the word and advise against giving the vaccine.
Incidently, I would recommend Photonic Therapy as developed by Dr. McLaren (see Parelli website) to treat horses with WNV or even try it on those adversely affected by the vaccine (at least if you have an open mind about alternative therapies). It would do no harm and I have seen it help a variety of cases (non WNV related, but also serious). I will go out tomorrow and treat my horses on all of the standard acupuncture points, plus the West Nile points, just to play it safe.
I certainly hope that more veterinarians take the side of their clients and patients, which they ought to, and not believe everything the sales reps and drug companies officially say. Many of them mean well, but they often don't get the full story, either. We are supposed to check out the scientific studies, but sometimes we think we are too busy to do so and just rely on someone else to give us a summary. I will never again take for granted claims put forth from a company as being the truth until I check it out! Just so I don't get in hot water from a certain company, please sign me as ......a Wisconsin veterinarian (forgive me for being reluctant to give my name--maybe I shouldnt be so chicken)

9/16/03 I have a weanling mini filly whose mother received the first wnv and the booster. The filly was born with a twisted nose resembling the photos of the other colts on this site. She is able to eat and drink. She has two opposite teeth that touch. You cant tell me that anything other than the wnv is causing the same deformities. the similarities are too conclusive. Thanks to your site I can see it wasnt just a birth defect. I tell everyone to look here before giving the vaccine.
Jaime Phillips MO

9/17/03 I also jumped on the bandwagon, and vaccinated all 7 of my horses in 2002. At this time I had no mares in foal, thank goodness. It appeared that all my horses came through with no side affects. After reading these posts, some things started to sound less than coincendentail. My 3 yr gelding came up very wobbly, stiff, and with laminitis. Vet considered it unknown founder. He had never had any problems before, has great feet, no swelling or heat. Vet treated for founder and with great farrier attention he seemed to come out of it ok. Then the second booster shot was given and the next week he foundered again. We chalked it up to being in training, drought making the ground really hard etc... After reading I checked dates and he came up with laminitis 3-5 days after each WNV shot. In 2003, I vacinated all of them again, and we moved to a new state within 3 days of giving the shots. 4 of the 7 horses appeared to have bumps all over them on the side the injection was given. I again figured it was a reaction to something being that they were now in a new pasture. The gelding came up sore and wobbly again for about 1 week. Yet he has not shown any laminitis at any other times, even with dailey riding. HMMMM My filly, was healthy with good weight, but after the first WNV shot, has a hard time keeping weight. No vet explanation, good feed, good supplements etc. I am noticiing trends here, not just with breeding issues, but with unexplained laminitis, weight issues, and allergic reactions in breeding animals as well as gelding and young horses. Colorado also has an alarming # of "pigeon fever" outbreaks in 2002 within a few weeks of the WNV becoming available. Swollen glands, vet bills, lancing, etc... Most vets said they could not explain this and had not seen pigeon fever in years and never with so many affected horses. Just my thoughts, dont think I will be giving any more WNV shots.
D in OK formally in Colorado

9/17/03 Dear Lost Foals,
I was emailed this link from a chat group I belong to on msn and was so surprised when I started reading all the posts. It was like opening the daily log of my own ranch. We have a small horse operation near Omaha, NE where we broad and breed a limited number of horses. In 2001 we selected a World Champion stallion to service one of our young broodmares, hopeful that she would produce our future farm stallion. Our worked paid off and on May 2, 2002 she foaled for us a beautiful red dun overo colt. As you read this story please keep in mind this was a maiden mare, bred via AI who settled on her first cover. In late summer 2002 we booked this mare and 3 others to outside stallions for the 2003 breeding season. Upon the strong advice of our vet, we too vaccinated for West Nile Virus. We administered the intitial first dose the first week of August 2002 and the booster the first week of September 2002. On September 18, the mare who had foaled our red dun colt showed signs of the virus. We immediately called our vet who confirmed what we already suspected. We spent the next 15 days treating her for the exact virus we had just vaccinated for. When questioned, our vet scratched his head not having a ligitimate explanation for why the vaccine didn't work. None of our other horses or our boarders horses became ill or showed any side effects of the vaccine. Well at least that is what we thought until this year when we started trying to breed. 2 of the mares are, as we like to call them, baby machines. Each have had 4 foals and never any problems or complications. The other 2 would have been second time mothers. Niether of which had trouble getting bred or foaling the first time. We started preparations for breeding in March and by July, emotionally exhausted and financially drained we stop trying to breed. Coincidence.??? We dont think so. We believe in our hearts that our breeding failure is solely due to the WNV vaccine. There truly is no other reason. For all of us who breed, no matter what level, great or small, the devastation in the same. An empty foaling stall is a financial nightmare. Our next concern is our young stallion. From some of the posts that I have read he too may be affected by this. Perhaps time is the cure for the side effects and we are hopeful that his period in the show pen will be long enough for any adverse side effects to subside. One thing we are certain of no horse we own that is intended for breeding purposes will have this particular vaccine until we can be 100% guaranteed that there are absolutely no side effects. Our prayers go out to everyone who has been subjected to, in what is our opinion, the widespread testing of this vaccine and to the creators of this site for allowing one voice to be heard as many.
Sincerely, DBM Ranch, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska

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